Underneath the brilliant shining Sun, strides the god Apollo along the beach. He surveys the ocean, preferring to look at the horizon instead of examining what lies beneath the waves.  His mind is always set on events in the far distance.  He carries with him a bow and arrows, which allow him to attack from a comforting distance.  He glides through the night watching over innocent young children and seeking out a challenger to polish is skill as an expert archer.  His logical mind makes him the dispenser of justice, and his strong willpower allows him to accomplish any goal he sets for himself.

The Businessman

The Businessman is a man on the go who constantly thinks about his work. His strong logical mind makes him great at being a team player and a trustworthy employee but doesn’t help him to be a great husband or father.  He doesn’t know how to let loose and play with the kids, so he often takes work home to avoid family life.

It’s hard for him to go on vacation and have a good time with his family. Intimacy and sitting still for extended periods of time seem like a waste of time and effort to him.  He’ll often invite business associates and their families to come along on such vacations to kill two birds with one stone.

He understands the nature of cause and effect and lives his life accordingly. He can set goals and reach them where other men fail.  His focus is rock solid; his actions clear and precise.  He loves to plan and set high standards for himself and others, but he often falls short of his ultimate goals because he lacks the ruthlessness to reach them.  He does well in a large corporation or on the faculty of a large college.

What Does the Businessman Care About?

  • The Businessman cares about his career. He’s able to plan his career path and focus on his goals. Every project he undertakes and every contact he makes is done so with the knowledge of how it’ll further his career. He doesn’t waste time or effort and can’t understand other men who don’t share his enthusiasm.
  • He enjoys being the calm and centered man in the room to settle arguments and bring about order and peace. He would make a great judge because he also prefers not to fight or to get physically involved in sticky situations.
  • He enjoys strategic planning and wants to be a part of a team.
  • Competition is fun to him, with either men or women. He respects others who are after the same promotion he is. They’re planners just like him.

What Does the Businessman Fear?

  • He fears losing his career and having to get a job. He loves what he does for a living; it’s his identity and whole reason for being.
  • His emotions and any type of intimacy are foreign to him. He may have several girlfriends at once because he fears getting too close to any of them. They have to understand and support his workaholic lifestyle.
  • Chaos is his enemy; he isn’t equipped to handle anything spontaneous or random. He must know where things fit and why. He’s always thinking logically and striving for order in his life just as he strives for it in his work.
  • Rejection isn’t something he handles very well especially if it comes from a woman.

What Motivates the Businessman?

  • His biggest motivators are self-esteem and self-respect. He wants to be looked up to and recognized for his efforts, but at the same time he’s not looking to stand apart from the team. He would never want to be the sole responsible person for the company.
  • Competition can goad him into trying new things. Any chance to use his mental skills always grab his attention.
  • Success is another motivator. He’ll do anything to move up the corporate ladder.

How Do Other Characters See the Businessman?

  • Some see him as phony as he seems to talk to only those who can help his company or further his career. He doesn’t care what they think. Success is more important than friendships. Friendships won’t pay for his retirement.
  • He’s a sharp dresser but not much more than his fellow workers. Sometimes he’ll wear a colorful tie that stands out, but that’s as far as he’ll go in being different. He wants to project the right image.
  • He has no passion or love for life and seems devoid of compassion at times. No one knows what he’s thinking behind his solid eyes.

Developing the Character Arc

Look at your character’s main goal in the story and then at the fears you’ve selected to use against him. What does he need to learn to help him overcome his fear?  Does he need to learn how to be alone and happy with it?  Does he need to connect emotionally with his family?  Did his wife die and he needs to care for the kids?  Did he get passed over for a promotion and his career is failing?

Very often the Businessman needs to learn how to let go of his inhibitions and goals. He needs to learn humility and compassion for others.  He needs to get in touch with his emotions and find the ability to relate to others as a person and not a figurehead.

What happened to him at an early age to make this archetype dominate his personality? Did his parents make him do well in school, pushing him to succeed?  Did he see his father humiliated?  Did his parents lost everything because they weren’t focused and dedicated to their jobs?  Was he picked on for being uncoordinated and now overcompensate with mental ability?

To grow, this archetype is best paired with one of the following:

  • The Artist – can teach him to get in touch with the feminine qualities of love and emotions.
  • The Seducer – can teach him how to let go of the consequences of his actions and have some fun in life.
  • The Mystic – can teach him how to be a spiritual person and how to be by himself without a lot of work and activities to numb his mind. This quiet time may bring up memories and feelings that he is trying to suppress through his workaholic lifestyle.
  • The Gorgon – can humiliate him and teach him to be humble. She can turn his life upside down causing chaos and uncertainty.

The Villainous Side of the Businessman: The Traitor

As a villain the Businessman is the Traitor. Work comes first to this man.  If he sees his company facing disaster he’ll go to extreme lengths to cover up any wrongdoing.  He’ll tell on his co-workers if they do something that threatens the company, even if the company is doing harm.  His mental expertise bestows trust on him; many don’t have a choice but to trust him because they don’t have the knowledge to dispute him.  This puts others at his mercy.  When things go wrong he feels he’s the one to dispense justice, and he does it with a cool but unfeeling demeanor.  He can be without mercy because he’s been lost for so long inside his head and away from his feelings.

When things get chaotic his emotions fly out of control making him do things he never thought he could. His logical mind holds his emotions at bay, but when situations defy logic his mind is pushed to a breaking point.

He uses rules and order to avoid his feelings. He’s a perfectionist with a strong preoccupation for details, rules, lists, order and schedules, which interfere with him actually completing a task.  He can’t throw anything away.  He has trouble letting other people help him with his work unless they submit to his way of doing things.  He wants everything to be just so, and when others don’t comply he snaps.  He’s like Howard Payne (Dennis Hopper) in the movie Speed who plays with Officer Jack Craven (Keanu Reeves) by making him solve puzzles to get to the next clue.  He loves to show off his inventions and expertise.

While it’s true that most villains don’t believe they’re bad, this villain truly believes, he’s the good guy. Others are at fault; they caused the chaos, and he deserves better than that.  He wants to show how valuable he is and will prove that they can get by without him.  He’ll sell his inventions to the highest bidder because he feels he should get paid for his work.


  • Feels undervalued.
  • Wants respect and recognition for his efforts.
  • Doesn’t have any loyalty once he feels abandoned by the group.
  • Will do whatever it takes to bring order back into his life.
  • Wants to teach others a lesson and doesn’t feel he’s a villain at all.
  • Can’t sit still and accept rejection.
  • Betrays only those he feels betrayed him.
  • Is obsessive in his need to organize and work out his plan of attack.
  • Views people as pawns in a game of chess.
  • Likes long drawn-out attacks that challenge him as well as his opponent. He may even befriend his rivals.



  • Likes blending into the team at work.
  • Is concerned about his image at work and is a neat dresser.
  • Has a strong will to get things done.
  • Is a logical and strategic thinker and can be a great analyst, detective and teacher.
  • Thrives on order.
  • Finds work and new ideas to be his only passions.
  • Can be loyal and trustworthy.
  • Loves to help others when he can use his expertise.


  • Obsesses about his career.
  • Gives his attention only to those who can further his career.
  • Has trouble expressing his emotions.
  • Can be arrogant.
  • Identifies with the aggressor when attacked and perpetuates the cycle of violence.
  • Doesn’t handle rejection well.
  • Lacks spontaneity, hates chaos and is inflexible.



Businessman/Traitor TV Heroes

Dr. Fraiser and Dr. Niles Crane in Frasier

Lieutenant Columbo in Columbo

Roy “The Professor” Hinkley Jr. (Russell Johnson) in Gilligan’s Island

Commander Spock in Star Trek

Richard Fish (Greg Germann) in Ally McBeal

Alex P. Keaton (Michael J. Fox) in Family Ties

Businessman/Traitor Film Heroes

David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) in Independence Day

Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) in Ghostbusters

Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) in Wall Street

Howard Payne (Dennis Hopper) in Speed

Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) in Jerry Maguire

Professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) in My Fair Lady

Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) in Pretty Woman

Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) in Annie Hall

Businessman/Traitor Literary and Historical Heroes

Dr. Alan Crant in Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Sherlock Holmes in stories by Arthur Conan Doyle

Young Goodman Brown in “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Hercule Poirot in novels by Agatha Christie

Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Macon Leary in The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler

George Babbitt in Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis

Joseph K. in The Trial by Franz Kafka


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s